Family of 4 says they contracted COVID-19 for 2nd time, symptoms worse

Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 1:13 AM MST
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PAPILLION, Neb. (KETV) - A Nebraska family thought they were safe from COVID-19 after fighting it off, but months later, they were all facing the virus once again.

Chuck Conboy Sr., 67, says he had a frightening moment walking to a holiday lights festival in November. He, his wife and sons then tested positive for COVID-19.

“I walked about 200 feet, and I couldn’t breathe. And I mean, it was a panic feeling. I’ve never had anything like that in my life,” Conboy said.

Chuck Conboy Sr., 67, (second from left) says he, his wife and two sons tested positive for...
Chuck Conboy Sr., 67, (second from left) says he, his wife and two sons tested positive for COVID-19 for a second time just nine weeks after fighting off the virus.(Source: Family photos, KETV via CNN)

The family fully recovered from the virus. But then, nine weeks later, Conboy says he started to feel very tired and once again tested positive for COVID-19.

“I woke up… and had a fever. It jumped up to like 102 degrees, which for me, that’s high. I thought, ‘Oh, my God, not again,’” he said.

Conboy says the second infection is much worse than the first was.

“It just hit me like a truck, and this time, it knocked me down. In fact, this is the first day - day nine - that I’m back to halfway normal. If you’d asked me yesterday, I didn’t even know where I was,” he said.

Conboy’s wife and children are sick again as well, and he says their symptoms also set on faster.

“As far as the symptoms, they were much more severe, quickly setting. Taste and smell disappeared immediately. Temperature shot up higher just immediately, and this was not just me. This was the entire family,” Conboy said.

With Nebraska lifting restrictions, Conboy is worried the virus will surge again.

Dr. Mark Rupp with Nebraska Medicine says repeat infections like the Conboys are rare but not unheard of. Some people that get COVID-19 may develop natural immunity that lasts for several months, but there is no concrete evidence that is the case for everyone.

“That may be one of the explanations: that people with very mild disease don’t mount as vigorous an immunological response and don’t have as long-lasting a response,” Rupp said.

Copyright 2021 KETV via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.